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Samsung 2020 QLED TVs go on preorder, focus on 8K, cost a bundle

Samsung has a lot of new Qs. Maybe you have questions. Here are our answers (so far).

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At $3,500 for the 65-inch size, Samsung's cheapest 8K TV is still really expensive.

Samsung

Despite the rise of TCL and the OLED-powered image quality dominance of LG, Samsung still sells more TVs than anyone, especially expensive ones. Its latest crop of QLED models, first announced at CES in January, now available for preorder and shipping soon, tries to maintain that popularity with an array of new features, designs, sizes, series and prices -- many of them very expensive.

Before I get into the nitty-gritty here's a reminder that, if you want a good bargain, now is not the best time to buy a 2020 TV. New models just started coming out, prices are at their highest and they'll fall throughout the year until November (aka Black Friday time). Samsung sets are no exception; the 2019 65-inch Q70 went down from $2,200 to $1,200 last year and costs less than a grand today. And on paper it looks as good or better than any of the 2020 TVs in that price range.

Here's what else you need to know about Samsung's 2020 TVs right now.

Now playing: Watch this: Samsung's bezelless 8K QLED TV is basically all screen
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The new shiny, no bezel required

Samsung's best new 2020 TV, the Q950TS, has a super thin frame around the picture. When I looked at it straight on at CES, it was really tough to make out any bezel at all -- it's basically all picture. This striking design makes for one of the coolest-looking TVs I've ever seen. It has top-notch image quality specs too, including full-array local dimming and, yes, 8K resolution.

But you may be asking how much it costs. Spoiler: I have no idea. Samsung didn't reveal prices on its most expensive 8K models, the Q950TS and Q900TS, and they're not yet on the company's website. A spokesperson told CNET it might be a couple weeks before they appear.

Reading through Samsung's announcements and site, here's what else grabbed me as important:

  • Samsung has a lot of new TVs. Its QLED TVs come in seven total series and seven different screen sizes. Not every series has every size, but that's still 30 total new QLED models. And that's without counting the less-expensive 2020 "TU" models, which aren't QLED.
  • Sizes range from 43 to 85 inches, concentrating on the largest sizes (above 65). There's no mention of a 98-inch size for 2020.
  • There are three series of TVs with 8K resolution, including the Q950TS and Q900TS mentioned above, as well as the cheapest, the Q800T. It's $3,500 for the 65-inch size. That's the same as Samsung's cheapest 2019 8K TV, and really expensive. In other words, 8K still doesn't look like it's worth buying.
  • The 8K TVs offer other image quality extras beyond resolution -- namely more local dimming zones, new "local power distribution" local-dimming tech that improves peak brightness and improved processing -- that aren't available on 4K models.
  • The cheapest 4K (non-8K) TV, the Q90T, is $2,500 for the 65-inch size. That's $600 more than our favorite high-end TV in 2019, the LG B9 OLED TV, and as usual I expect the OLED to have better picture quality. (No, I haven't yet reviewed any 2020 Samsung QLED TVs.)
  • The cheapest Samsung TV with full-array local dimming, our favorite picture-enhancing extra for LCD TVs, is the Q80T, which costs $1,800 for the 65-inch size. That's just $100 more than that LG OLED.
  • There's no mention of pricing or availability for the Sero portrait-mode TV. I asked Samsung about it and will update this post when I hear back.

Samsung also touts other 2020 extras, like integration with its Samsung Health apps, an improved Ambient mode for when the TV's "off," better audio and more. 

I expect to review the first Samsung TVs in the next month or so. In the meantime let me know if you have any Qs.

Read more: The best TVs for 2020